Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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I have a cat that unfortunately had to have his front right leg amputated. This was due to Vaccine related Myxsosarcoma (High Grade). Margins came back 2cm clean. His name is Bruster and 10 years old. Bruster until the amputation acted like a dog, followed me around, extremely friendly. He could be on the somewhat startled side at times, however was always the life of the house. Company came he’d greet them. Surgery was on August 20th, Stitches were removed 9/2 and until 9/8 was somewhat normal. Then we have had major issues. Hides under furniture and back of closet. Does not want to move. Was using the litter box, until the last few days and will not even get up to go. Will eat, but I have to coax. Added water to the wet food, thinking he may be dehydrated. Place him on sofa and will not move. Been giving him gabapentin in the morning .5ml and .25 ml at night. Will sleep in the bed all night, usually. Does not play at all. Will groom but minimally. Not sure what to do. Personality completely has changed. Looks at things that are not in the room, scared, loud noises startle him (phone, tv) and now the litter box. He used to be comforted with my husband’s shirt, tonight, I laid it by him and he peed on it. I have turned over the chair that he hides under and limited his access to the bedroom and baby gated the stairs. Has anyone had any similar issues? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This cat is my world, I am just at a loss. Thank you all in advance.
Hi Brusyer and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.
I’m sorry to make this brief but i wanted to make sure others see your post ASAP. I’ll be back in the AM but for now, have you called your vet about this situation? This sounds like untreated pain but I’m not really sure that’s what it is since he’s already getting Gabapentin. It does sound like a vet visit is in order though. Please make an appt ASAP. And stay tuned for feedback from others.
Hmm. OK so they evaluated for pain, that’s good. The only thing is, while Gabapentin is a good drug, vets like Dr. Avery tell us that it works best in conjunction with other pain management tools and medications, so that all pain pathways are covered and any underlying issues are addressed.
Meanwhile, what kind of diagnostics have they done to help him right now? His behavior so far out from amputation points to something else going on. Those symptoms can be related to sooo many other things, especially the inappropriate urination.
I’ll be honest, I’m worried when you say he isn’t moving much. If you aren’t getting answers from your current vet, please consider seeking another opinion and in the meantime you may want to share these symptoms in Ask a Vet with our Fairy Vet Mother Dr. Pam.
They believe it is anxiety/depression. He can move around, he just doesn’t want to. He becomes startled, hides, just kind of given up. Don’t want to over medicate, have limited his area, only becomes interested in food/treats once he starts purring. Just not sure if anyone has experienced this type of depression/anxiety over an amputation.
22 February 2013
Geez, sorry these unexpected and unwelcome behaviors have shown up. I cam only ditto ever Rene has said. I know the Vet ruled out pain, but the way he is acting seems to point that way.
Definitely would get a second opinion from a Vet who could look at him with a fresh set of eyes.
Generally “depression” is more of a human emotion, moreso than dogs and cats. Clearly something is triggering the anxiety though which certainly may be causing frustration.
Sorry I’m not much help other than to encourage a second opinion. Maybe our kitty me,bers can give better insight.
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
PS. One more random thought. Make SURE there are no stitches/staples left in. We have seen that before and that can certainly cause havoc in behavior.
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
27 July 2014
My cat Mona had her amputation 6 years ago due to a vaccine-related fibrosarcoma. She was off the pain meds in 5 days and was on the anti-inflammatory for about 10 days. It seems to be common that most of the cats are off pain meds around the time the stitches/staples are removed.
It sounds like Bruster either has some pain or has an infection. Last year Mona was lethargic, didn’t eat and she peed outside the litter box. I took her to the vet and she had a bladder and kidney infection. Has your vet checked Bruster for a urinary tract, bladder, and/or kidney infection? Any chance the surgical incision is infected?
By the way, your vet should get your surgical costs reimbursed by the vaccine company since their product caused the sarcoma.
Please let us know how Bruster is doing.
Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona